Legislators in Oklahoma's House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to proceed with consideration of the bill that calls for a pregnant woman to obtain written consent of the father before getting an abortion
Anti-abortion activists protest in front of Planned Parenthood, Far Northeast Surgical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller, photo: Reuters/Charles Mostoller
14 of February 2017 17:54:36
NEW YORK – A proposal requiring pregnant women to get permission from their sexual partner to get an abortion made headway on Tuesday in U.S. state of Oklahoma, where lawmakers decided to move the measure toward a full vote by the legislature.The legislation is the latest in a string of far-reaching efforts to limit abortion by lawmakers emboldened by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, experts say.Trump has promised to appoint an anti-abortion justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. During his campaign, he said women who had abortions should be punished but later said it was doctors who perform abortions who should be punished.Legislators in Oklahoma's House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to proceed with consideration of the bill that calls for a pregnant woman to obtain written consent of the father before getting an abortion."My bill just simply tries to add the father to the process and bring a father into the conversation of when abortions occur," said its author, Republican state Rep. Justin Humphrey, during a House session."They show up and they take part in creating the baby and then they have no say-so for nine months," he said.The proposal typifies efforts underway since the November election, when the Republican Party, more conservative than the Democratic Party, took control of most state legislatures across the country, abortion rights advocates say."This Oklahoma bill falls into that category," said Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst with the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group.In December, Ohio approved a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the state governor vetoed a measure banning abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat, which could be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 but remains a divisive social and political issue.Opponents of the Oklahoma bill, formally known as HB 1441, say it would violate the U.S. Constitution and not survive challenges in court."Oklahoma HB 1441 is an outrageous bill meant to shame, burden, and degrade women seeking abortion care," said a statement by Diane Horvath-Cosper, spokeswoman for the New York-based Physicians for Reproductive Health.